Have you ever wondered why Detroit Metro Airport is designated by the airlines as “DTW” on airline bag tags? What about Chicago’s O’Hare International and the airport’s “ORD” designator?
If you’ve ever flown somewhere you’ve noticed the tags the airlines place on your bags. They have a three letter designator code on them for your destination city. Some codes are painfully obvious like “IND” referring to Indianapolis. Another no brainer is “BOS” referring to Boston’s Logan International Airport. Our code at Detroit Metro Airport is “DTW” which, when you think about it, is pretty obvious, too. It stands for Detroit Wayne County Airport. And this is confusing, when you check in at some international desitnations bound for Detroit, you’ll find your bag tag reading “DTT” although I’m not sure just why. And by the way, the word “airlines” doesn’t always apply to a carrier. It’s Delta Air Lines (two words) and some carriers are “airways” instead of “airlines.”
The world’s busiest airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Before they added the “Jackson” to the name, it was just Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport with a designator code “ATL” which was an obious choice. Hartsfield, in case you were wondering, was a former mayor of the Great Grit, as my Delta pilot friends refer to the city of Atlanta.
The world’s second busiest airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International, has a designator code of “ORD.” Why? I’m told that the ground the airport sits on used to be an apple orchard, thus “ORD.”
There are some funny designator codes. “FAT” refers to Fresno, California although I’m not sure why. And my favorite, all time, code is “BOB.” Guess what that refers to? Bora Bora in the incredibly beautiful South Pacific in French Polynesia.
Flyaow has a complete list of world airline codes, in case you’re interested.